Even during Berlin's post-World War II days as a divided city, its intellectual and artistic vigor drew Americans - often through the wall past Checkpoint Charlie to where the drabness of East Berlin had such oases as the Max Reinhardt Museum and the theater of the Berliner Ensemble. But, since the withdrawal of US troops a few years ago, the ties between Berlin and America have been getting "thinner and thinner," according to Mayor Eberhard Diepgen. Now Stephen and Anna-Marie Kellen of New York, natives of Berlin, have been joined by other benefactors to start an American research academy there. Chairman is Richard Holbrooke, no less, architect of the Bosnian peace accords.
The academy is an attempt to show there is a post-cold-war relationship through cultural and intellectual exchange, said Mr. Holbrooke, a former US ambassador to Germany. It will award postdoctoral fellowships to Americans studying such subjects as science, journalism, and film. There has to be a Marlene Dietrich movie here somewhere. The academy will be in the 40-room lakeside villa where Ms. Kellen grew up and the couple first met before they fled the Nazis to America.